We were never cake people. If I wanted cake, I wanted one that was very atypical. I remember at age six, when schools still insisted on a class cake for birthdays with no thought to allergies or nutrition, I wanted a spice cake. Lemon cake was another decent option, but otherwise, meh. Could care less. I still hate cakes.
That crisco icing on a dry sponge? Bleh. I think that was partially why I went for a French pastry education; the chefs understood that the world of dessert was so much better without a slab of yellow cake with chocolate frosting.
We love pies, though. What is not to love? A crust, baked dark to bring out the sweetness. Inside, those berries we picked off Mt. Otsego from that secret blueberry/currant/raspberry stash. Apples heaped high and topped with impossible amounts of brown sugar crumb. Or perhaps some lemon. Serious lemon. My first from scratch lemon meringue is legendary among my friends who tasted it. I cut down the lemon next time I made it, but that first one was sublime to me.
This past week I found this. It was a pie, online for the world. Whole lemons, skin and all, sliced thin. I saw the recipe and had to make it, feverish with desire, planning my time off around the ability to make this pie. I made it knowing there would be no one here to share it with; it would be, at best, distasteful to my nearest and dearest. Bitter with zest, tangy, just a bit of sugar.
The crust is my own, an all-butter deviation. I smiled as I crimped the edges remembering how magical crusts once were, how did she get that edge?, as a younger me watched pies made. Of course, the pies were never made by men. I never figured out why. Poor deprived souls. The filling is as I expected - this is a pie for my tastes alone, a race against spoilage. Can I finish it before it is lost to the world?
So I eat a bit more in the afternoon sun. For today, this is my favorite dessert.